Jan 2018 How do your decisions have a positive or negative impact on your Landscape business?
Some of our decisions have a positive immediate impact of our business and others may not be noticed for some time. The same goes for decisions that have a negative impact.
In this article, I will give a few examples of how our bigger decisions can affect our business in a positive and negative way and what changes you can make so you benefit.
Refusing to increase your Prices
Let’s say you run a maintenance business and would like to earn more money per client. A decision to keep your charge-out rate the same for 2 years or more is a lost opportunity to earn more profit per client as well as under-valuing your service. As expenses continue to increase each year, it is difficult for a business to maintain the same prices year after year and still make a similar or higher net profit than the previous year.
Often a business owner refuses to increase fees because he is worried about losing clients and not remaining competitively priced.
So how do you increase prices and retain your clients? A simple analysis of your clients, your service and your competitors’ fees is needed. Here are some questions to help you: How long has each client been a paying client? Are they happy with your service? Which clients should receive a fee increase from you? (Perhaps not all of them, because some may be very price conscious)? When was your last fee increase? What value do you offer your clients? (For example; Do you give them a report before leaving their garden or at least every month? Are you proactive in your approach to servicing their garden, do you identify potential problems early?) What is the rate your competitors’ charge?
The bottom line is that a fee increase of $5 an hour will make a considerable difference to your net profit because it doesn’t involve any additional labour or material costs. So it is definitely a worthwhile exercise that can pay dividends and reward you for the great service you provide. Just plan it properly by going through the questions above.
Retaining an employee with the wrong attitude
Consider this scenario. An employee with a poor attitude works on site with your team. He leaves early when he can, works without enthusiasm and often talks about how hard everything is. We are probably all familiar with this type of employee.
The owner has addressed the employee’s poor attitude a couple of times in a face-to-face meeting, however due to the business’s diminished workforce and busy period, the owner continues to just put up with this employee’s frustrating attitude and negativity. The problem is, his poor attitude is negatively affecting other employees. His attitude also affects productivity, morale and customer service. So the obvious solution is to set a plan and either give this employee 4 weeks to improve (issue a warning letter) but don’t accept the situation, it is too detrimental to your business.
A decision to grow a new income stream
This can have a negative impact on a business if you have not created the right systems and have a group of employees conducting their roles with confidence and effectiveness within your core business. The problem is that the new income stream will take time to create, grow and establish and will need your attention. But if your business is operating well by your team members (with little input from you), and you can give some of your valuable time to helping launch and grow the new income stream, then I would say, it could be worth pursuing.
The point I would like to re-iterate is, every decision whether it be small or large affects you and your business in a positive or negative way. So when it comes to making the more significant decisions, analyse them carefully by looking at the possible impact they can have on clients, employees, service, your reputation and your profit. Sometimes involving others (Managers and staff members) about your potential decision by asking their opinion can be a helpful exercise.
So consider your decisions carefully before acting on them.